I hate sticky name tags. They’ve got to be the tackiest thing ever invented, second only to the fanny pack. I’m entering the 12th year of my career, and over a decade later, I still hate one common business practice forced upon every aspiring executive the world over – networking.
I get the value of networking, if you’re an entrepreneur, and in that case I’d say what’s taking place is more like hustling instead of making meaningful connections. But I digress, if you’ve spent most of your career working for large, multi-national corporations such as I, the need to network is non existent. I have 600+ connections on LinkedIn, all of which I know personally or have worked with. From that group, I’ve been presented with countless opportunities from people who really know me, not someone that I had meaningless chit chat with over some bad shrimp. Networking has become kind of archaic, like fax machines…and brief cases.
On the other hand, it could just be me. Despite having a penchant for partying my face off and the ability to approach just about anybody, I clam right up at a networking event. Oh hello there person I don’t know, let’s stand here and awkwardly eat our crappy canape while juggling our glass of wine and pretend to give a shit about what the other person is saying. Excuse me while I try to remember my elevator statement. It’s all so inauthentic and put on it makes me want to poke my eyeballs out.
A new form of networking that I find fucking weird is the TweetUp. I’m all over the Tweeter, as you know, and have formed some really cool relationships there. But these are not necessarily people I want to know in real life. I like supporting other bloggers and businesses by helping to spread their content. And I dig having cheeky chit chat with a few key players, but the thought of meeting all these folks in person is not at all appealing. Sure, if Madonna wanted to have a TweetUp with me, I’d be more than obliging. But when someone I don’t know – aside from a few tweets back and forth – tells me they’re coming to Vancouver and want me to show them around, my answer is no merci. I have lot’s of friends, many of which I don’t get to see on a regular basis. Why would I want to waste a weekend with some random person from Twitter? Let me clear my calendar!
As much as I cherish and value my relationships online, I’d rather focus on the ones that exist in real life. As for networking events and TweetUps, who the fuck has time? I’ve got a full-time job, a consulting business and a blog to keep up with.